Daily Archives: 03/03/2016

China: Prominent Chinese lawyer speaks out against televised confessions

March 2, 2016

Red flags fly in front of the Chinese national flag, second left, outside the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, on Tuesday, March 3, 2015. (Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg)

One of China’s top legal voices has spoken out against televised confessions, an increasingly common tool used by Chinese authorities to humiliate human rights advocates, lawyers, book publishers and journalists.

China should not drag people in front of the cameras to plead guilty, Zhu Zhengfu, deputy chairman of the All China Lawyers Association, said this week in a rare internal reproach to the broad clampdown that has enveloped the country under President Xi Jinping.

Such confessions, he said, are of little legal value and may rely on coercion.

“Legally speaking, if there is no evidence to support the case, a guilty plea on television should be inadmissible,” he said in an interview with Beijing News that was widely disseminated in China on Wednesday. “Because there are too many possibilities for a suspect to be led into pleading guilty against their will and contrary to the facts.”


‘I Can’t Stay Out of This’ — Two Statements on the Zhang Kai Case

Thailand: Update on Sirikan Charoensiri’s case: Inquiry official will file the charge to await the prosecution order

March 3, 2016


Ms. Sirikan Charoensiri received a summon warrant to report herself to the inquiry official at the Chana Songkram Police Station in order to be handed over to the special prosecutor in litigious division at the 3rd Sub District Court (Dusit) on 4 March 2016. The lawyer team will submit a request to postpone the date to 9 March, the date which was formerly fixed, and Sirikan will give an additional statement to the inquiry official on 5 March and 7 March at the Police Station.

Ms. Sirikan Charoensiri, a lawyer from Thai Lawyers for Human Rights, was accused by police officer for refusing to comply with a competent official (Article 368 of the Criminal Code) and concealing evidence (Article 142 of the Criminal Code). This was related to the incident which Sirikan did not allow the officers to search her car without warrant in the night of 26 – 27 June 2015. She had been informed of the charge on 9 February 2016.

On 1 March 2016, Sirikan’s lawyer team had negotiated with the inquiry official of the Chana Songkram Police Station that Sirikan will give an additional statement as an alleged offender. In her defense, Mr. Kritsadang Nutcharus, one of the lawyers, will give a statement as a witness on 5 March 2016 at 9.00. Also, Mr. Anon Nampa and Ms. Ida Arunwong will give a statement as witnesses on 7 March 2016. The witness statement will be submitted alongside with the file to the prosecutor on 9 March 2016




China: Les confessions forcées d’un avocat défenseur des chrétiens de Wenzhou

le 2 mars, 2016

Les confessions forcées d’un avocat défenseur des chrétiens de Wenzhou

La mise en scène des aveux de l’avocat Zhang Kai, qui défendait les chrétiens du Zhejiang résistant à une campagne de démolition de croix, a été diffusée à la télévision locale, le 25 février. Mardi, un célèbre pasteur de la même province a aussi été arrêté. Ce week-end, un couple de pasteurs protestants …

… a également été condamné à plus de dix ans de prison.

Depuis 2014, Zhang Kai défendait les chrétiens de Wenzhou qui s’opposent aux destructions d’églises et aux démontages de croix qui frappent toute la province du Zhejiang. Jeudi soir, six mois après son arrestation l’été dernier, le journal télévisé local a diffusé un sujet de plus de dix minutes dénonçant l’avocat. A en croire les allégations de ce document de propagande, l’avocat de 36 ans aurait orchestré lui-même la résistance des croyants du Zhejiang contre la campagne de démolition qui a touché 1 700 croix à ce jour.

Zhang Kai apparaît dans une pièce d’interrogatoire capitonnée, le corps entravé par une chaise fermée. Les yeux baissés, il s’accuse lui-même d’avoir menti à ses clients, les poussant à ne pas respecter la loi. « J’ai violé la loi nationale, troublé l’ordre public, mis en danger la sécurité nationale et violé le code professionnel des avocats », récite-t-il. En parallèle, des images de manifestations de faible ampleur sont diffusées, tandis que le commentaire explique que des constructions illégales ont été démolies.


China: Chinese Activists Tell Parliament: ‘Release Our Lawyers Now’

March 2, 2016


(A group of petitioners gathered in Beijing hold a banner calling for the release of jailed lawyers, March 2, 2016)

More than 200 lawyers and rights activists across China have signed an open letter to the country’s parliament, which opens its annual session in Beijing this week, calling for the immediate release of 19 human rights lawyers held in a nationwide police operation since last July.

“To date, 19 lawyers, law firm staff or rights activists have been formally and obviously arrested,” said the letter, addressed to the National People’s Congress (NPC).

“None of those arrested or held under residential surveillance have been allowed visits from their relatives or their lawyers,” it added.

The letter said: “These lawyers were brave enough to take on sensitive cases and to fight them using rational argument, with respect and a sense of justice.”